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THERE was some intricate play with missed opportunities for both sides on this deal from the recent European Community Championships in Portugal.

----------------------------------------------------------------- North-South game; dealer South ----------------------------------------------------------------- North S. Q 6 H. A K 9 7 D. J 10 9 C. K J 8 7 South S. 10 8 7 2 H. 6 2 D. A Q 8 7 2 C. A 5 West S. 9 4 3 H. Q 10 8 5 D. 6 C. Q 10 9 6 3 East S. A K J 5 H. J 4 3 D. K 5 4 3 C. 4 2 -----------------------------------------------------------------

After two passes North opened One Club and East overcalled with One Spade. This made it difficult for North-South to reach Three No-trumps - the top-scoring contract - as neither player had a full guard in spades, and the final contract was Five Diamonds by South.

The defence started with two top spades and East found his best chance when he forced dummy by leading his jack of spades. Superficially, it looked as though declarer would no longer be able to pick up East's king of trumps. Declarer ruffed in dummy and ran the jack of diamonds successfully. Next came the ten of diamonds to the queen, revealing the bad trump break.

At this point South made the mistake of failing to cash the ten of spades immediately. Instead he played the ace and king of clubs and ruffed a club in hand, reducing his trumps to the same length as East's. Now it was the turn of East to go wrong - he should have discarded his last spade on the third club, and would then hav been bound to come to a trump trick.

It was all over now - declarer belatedly cashed his ten of spades and followed with the ace, king and another heart, thus making the last two tricks with a trump coup against East.